Thursday, May 19, 2011
Posted: 12:30 p.m.
Phillies (26-16) vs. Rockies (22-19), 7:05 p.m. on CSN
Phillies: Joe Blanton (1-2, 5.50) has just one win in six starts this season. In his last outing - his second start back from the DL - the righty gave up two runs in five innings in a 5-3 loss to Atlanta. Opponents are batting a startling .331 against Blanton this season.
Rockies: Colorado will turn to Jhoulys Chacin (4-2, 2.89), who gave up five runs - three earned - in six innings in his last start against San Diego. Chacin has walked 12 hitters in his last three outings after walking a total of nine hitters in his first five starts.
The Phillies snapped a four-game losing streak with Wednesday's 2-1 triumph at Citizens Bank Park. The Phils pushed across the winning run against Rockies starter Jorge De La Rosa in the eighth, and Ryan Madson held on in the ninth to pick up his seventh save. Wilson Valdez had two hits, including an RBI single, and also scored the decisive run for Philly.
The Phillies and Rockies had not met this season prior to Wednesday. Last season, the Phils went 6-1 against Colorado. The teams will meet in early August for three games at Coors Field.
Madson has thrown 11 straight innings of relief without allowing a run, surrendering just six hits and striking out 15 batters since the streak began on April 20. However, he isn't the only Phils reliever with a terrific ERA. Antonio Bastardo has a 1.17 ERA in 16 appearances and Kyle Kendrick, in 12 games (11 in relief) has a 1.66 ERA.
For Colorado, Todd Helton has hit safely in each of his last seven starts. And Ryan Spilborghs is 30-for-69 (.435) lifetime against the Phillies.
With five hits for the second straight game, the Phillies' offense continues to struggle. Will John Mayberry Jr. get his fifth consecutive start in the outfield in place of the struggling combo of Ben Francisco and Raul Ibanez? And can Blanton finally put together a lengthy, quality outing for the Phillies, or will his creaky elbow continue to act up?
Given the Phillies' offensive struggles, do you think they should trade (or should have, in the offseason) traded Roy Oswalt for a hitter?